New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick made news when he mocked a reporter for wearing golf shoes. The good natured blast came as reporters peppered him with questions concerning quarterback Tom Brady’s status for the season opener Sunday at Miami.
“Impressive shoes,” he quipped to the reporter.
Shoes landed me a huge scoop when I covered the Bad Boys Pistons. We were interviewing small forward Mark Aguirre when he noticed most reporters wore sneakers. He smiled and said sarcastically “why y’all always wearing gym shoes? Why can’t you wear something else?”
Aguirre of course was wearing gym shoes and I went off on him.
“We wear gym shoes because we have to chase you guys all over the building because you have little hiding places and new exits that you can duck through,” I said. “We need gym shoes to do our jobs.”
Aguirre held up his hands in surrender.
“Man why is it brothers always go off,” he asked.
We all laughed. The entire group of reporters left to interview other players and I stood and kicked it with Aguirre.
“Oh man by the way,” he said. “I got a letter from the Mexican Basketball Federation. My father was born in Mexico and I am supposedly eligible to play for the national team. I am thinking about playing for Mexico in the Olympics.”
Holy smokes! That is a huge story.
I got on the phone with a Mexican basketball official who confirmed it and I had a big scoop splashed across the top of the front page of The Detroit News sports page.
The next day everybody else followed up. A few days later I scooped everybody again when Aguirre decided not to do it.
People thought I did all this under cover digging.
Nope. It was all because of gym shoes.